Tag Archives: steve evans

Webinar trains food entrepreneurs in following Cottage Food Law

Michigan’s Cottage Food Law, enacted in 2010, allows individuals to manufacture and store certain types of foods in an unlicensed home kitchen. It’s intended to support farmers markets by allowing certain value-added products to be sold without the expense and trouble of preparing them in a licensed commercial kitchen.

 The Michigan State University Extension Food Safety Team made a teaching webinar in order to meet the needs of Michigan residents in relationship to food safety pertaining to the Cottage Food Law. The webinar was the most efficient and consistent way of providing educational information to this audience. Led by food safety co-chairs and Extension educators Jeannie Nichols and Jan Seitz, the Food Safety team members include Jennifer Berkey, Robin Danto, Diana Fair, Eileen Haraminac, Jane Hart, Linda Huyck, Pat Joyce, Joyce McGarry, Laurie Messing, Lucia Patritto, Janet Rathke, Christy Rivette, Phil Tocco, Lisa Treiber, Chris Venema and Beth Waitrovich.

 Jeannie stated, “For us as educators, it meant learning about developing a professional, interactive and interesting site.”

 The team developed “MI Cottage Food Law Food Safety Training/Webinar” with support from Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications team members Laura Probyn, Steve Evans and Kraig Ehm. Laura edited and revised the initial script. Laura and Kraig voiced the project, and Steve edited the PowerPoint that was the basis for the webinar and built quiz and evaluation modules for the project.

 According to Jeannie, the quiz at the end of the webinar evaluates the knowledge that participants gain as well as their intent to use the information from the webinar. Once a participant completes the quiz with 70 percent accuracy, he or she can purchase a certificate to display at a farmers market booth. Farmers markets customers would then see that the vendor had taken the initiative to take some extra food safety training in relation to cottage foods.

 Food Safety Team members conducted face-to-face presentations throughout the state using the curriculum to validate its content and usefulness before it was made available online. To help with this project, the team applied for and received a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant that allowed the production of this webinar including marketing materials.

 You can view the webinar here: http://vimeo.com/24282676

 Plans are underway to add the webinar to the governor’s weekly video feature rotation and to be placed on the MDARD’s YouTube channel.

 This is a great illustration of what the new MSUE is all about and how we’re embracing technology to achieve our mission. And it shows the interlinkage among work teams and institutes. Some of the greatest demand for the webinar is likely to come from individuals and businesses who sell homemade products at farmers markets, which are among the assets that we try to support through the community food systems group in the Greening Michigan Institute.

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Filed under Technology

New MSUE Bookstore online site launched

I was pleased to see that the new online version of the Michigan State University Extension Bookstore (formerly called the bulletin system) went live last week. This was a great joint effort by folks in ANR Technology Services (especially Bob Kriegel and Jim Brija) and ANR Communications (Steve Evans and Laura Probyn were the project coordinators).

It’s taken some time for this project to come together, but when you think that there are somewhere around 1,700 products in our system, the fact that the technology exists to enable us to build a store that looks a lot like the “big guys” who have much bigger pocketbooks and staffs is pretty amazing.

I’ll take a moment of silence now for the old CeeNet email system. Though we retired it from active daily use several years ago, it still provided the login and password system that the counties have used to order products from the Bookstore until the new system went live. Thank you for your service CeeNet; rest in peace. We’re now on par with the rest of the university, using the regular MSU login system for individual orders. Individuals should log in and create their own accounts to receive the discounted rate for items (formerly called the county price) and county staff members can log in using their respective county’s numeric email address (for example, Alcona County staff members will use msue01@msu.edu).

There are lots of other great bells and whistles on this site. Steve Evans has created the first of several handy-dandy webinars that folks can use to learn to use the system. There will be more to come, and we’ll be setting aside time in one of our upcoming Monday afternoon staff updates to talk more about the system. Associate Director Steve Lovejoy represented the Director’s Office in this venture and he’ll give us an overview of the system and how it works.  It’s encouraging to see the numbers of sales increasing already from this easily used site. Thanks to all who’ve been a part of this effort – it’s a great example of how we are “walking the talk” and using technology to help disseminate our work to the people who need it.

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Filed under redesign, Technology

ANR Communications multimedia production supervisor is CANR Staff Advisory Committee Staffer of the Month

Congratulations to Steve Evans who is the 2011 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Staff Advisory Committee Staffer of the Month. You may recall, we featured him in an October Spotlight, highlighting his role in the Fall Extension Conference (FEC10).

 The award goes to a member of the CANR support staff who has done something special or noteworthy within their unit or college.

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Filed under Awards

ANR Communications multimedia production supervisor played huge role in FEC10’s success

In last week’s Spotlight, I thanked some of the people who made the Michigan State University Extension virtual fall conference 2010 a success. It would be impossible for me to mention everyone that contributed to the event, but there is someone that I’d like to spotlight in this message: Steve Evans, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications multimedia producer, director and supervisor, put in countless hours before and during the conference – even coming in on weekends to get the job done. I’m told he worked somewhere in the range of 12 or 13 days straight leading up to and during FEC10. He pre-produced all of the award winners and that meant searching online for photos of the winners for those that he was not given photos of – and if you watched the awards ceremony you know that this must have taken hours. Steve helped produce just about all of the ANR Communications presentations and the institute directors’ main session. He carried out numerous technical tasks that I and probably the majority of you are clueless as to where to begin. On top of that, he served on the technology committee and found the time to work on and give his own presentation. I think that sometimes when things run so smoothly, it’s easy to forget the people behind the scenes who are making it happen. Steve Evans is one of those people who gets the job done professionally behind the scenes, making the rest of us look good.

Steve Evans on the job

Steven Evans on the job at FEC10

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Filed under Fall Extension Conference